Australia's cheapest cars to operate

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The recently launched Suzuki Celerio replaced the Alto in showrooms earlier this year, and now has replaced it as Australia’s cheapest new car to own and run, according to the RACV.

The motoring group’s annual running costs survey found the ($12,990 drive-away) Celerio manual costs $97.65 in average weekly running costs in Victoria, or about 34 cents per kilometre using average weekly travel distances as a baseline.

The next best were manual versions of the Mitsubishi Mirage ES ($114,61), Holden Barina Spark CD ($118.42) and Nissan Micra ST ($125.03). Read our Suzuki Celerio v Nissan Micra comparison test here, and our Celerio v Mitsubishi Mirage comparison here.


The test factors in 13 categories including purchase price, depreciation, petrol prices, maintenance and insurance costs. Overall, average running costs in 2015 were found to be cheaper than 2014 due to comparatively low interest rates and fuel prices.

Suzuki also finished in fifth place overall with the larger Swift, interestingly in GL automatic form, at $128.85. Rightfully, Suzuki can claim to be the maker of Australia’s most affordable cars, given it wins the Micro and Light segments.

“Suzuki has always regarded outstanding value for money as a cornerstone of its philosophy,” said Suzuki Australia Automobiles general manager Andrew Moore.


“The results speak for themselves and we are extremely proud of this recognition by Australia’s leading independent motoring authorities.”

On the flip side, among the cars tests the five most expensive cars to own and run were the Nissan Patrol ST-L petrol ($443.80, or $1.54 per kilometre), Toyota LandCruiser GXL petrol ($357.72), Toyota GXL diesel ($355.91), Nissan Patrol ST diesel ($324.66) and — interestingly — the Hyundai Genesis ($312.05).

The RACV does not include a number luxury cars in its survey. What it does do is examine 111 “popular vehicles” across 13 categories.


The cheapest vehicles across other segments included the Toyota Corolla Ascent CVT ($151.61), Skoda Octavia 103TSI Ambition DSG ($171.91), Holden Commodore Evoke ($219.25), Honda Odyssey VTi ($213.74), Mazda CX-3 Neo ($165.42), Mazda CX-5 Maxx petrol ($192), Holden Captiva LT petrol ($231.68), Toyota Prado GXL diesel ($279.67), Ford Falcon ute ($205.47) and Mitsubishi Triton GLX dual cab ($229.45).

The most expensive by segment were the Fiat 500 Pop manual ($129.77), Toyota Prius C hybrid (isn’t that interesting) at $152.60, Mercedes-Benz A180 ($229.12), Mercedes-Benz C200 petrol ($304.62), Kia Grand Carnival petrol ($253.73), Volkswagen Tiguan 118TSI ($204.15), Jeep Cherokee V6 ($259.39), Toyota Kluger GX ($249.51), Toyota HiLux SR petrol ($235.05) and Nissan Navara RX ($282.01).

BMW i3 1b

In terms of electric cars, the cheap running costs could not outweigh the high cost of entry. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV costs $245.75 (only one other medium SUV costs more, the Jeep), while the Nissan Leaf costs $252.75 (more than any other small car, A-Class included) and the BMW i3 cost $288.62 (almost double the priciest other light car to operate).

See the full list here.